‘It wasn’t meant to be’: Habana

Date published: October 31 2015

South Africa wing Bryan Habana isn't losing any sleep after he failed to break the Rugby World Cup try-scoring record in Friday's bronze medal play-off against Argentina in London.

Habana needed one try to move clear of All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu as the tournament's all-time leading try-scorer – both players have scored 15 tries – but said although he gave it his all, it wasn't meant to be.

"It definitely wasn't for lack of trying," he explained. 

"Opportunities come and sometimes things don't happen for a reason. I have a lot of respect for Jonah and maybe rightly that his record stays around for a little bit longer. 

"Someone like Drew Mitchell (Australia) has got an opportunity maybe to score two tries tomorrow and break the record. I definitely tried but it just wasn't meant to be so."

Habana was replaced by Jan Serfontein in the 67th minute against Argentina and the Toulon flyer admitted that he didn't have a great game and said he understood why Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer took him off.

"No real emotion," said Habana when asked how he felt when he was replaced.

"The coach wanted to get some buzz up there. I was pretty disappointed in the way I played so I thought it was a justified replacement. 

"Unfortunately I didn't play my greatest game ever wearing a Springbok jersey so it might be one I want to forget.

"I'm incredibly proud of the character, commitment and tenacity this team have shown over the last six weeks.  I would have preferred to be playing in a final tomorrow."

The 32-year-old conceded that he wouldn't be around for the Boks' next World Cup campaign in Japan in four years.

"I definitely won't be at 2019. I will take some time off now and decide where I am as a player. I am still feeling very good. I have got club commitments coming up in two weeks' time and have to get back to Toulon and put in some hard work there.

"I'm really proud of the last 12 years, the highs and the lows, it has been an unbelievable journey. I'm not too sure it's the end yet. 

"There is a lot to happen with South African rugby with a new coach. I have a lot of time to sit back, relax and assess where I am. 

"Where I am as a person, where I am as a player and maybe sit back and write a few more goals for the next few years."